Liam Printer’s podcast The Motivated Classroom has been going for a few weeks now and is well worth a listen. Liam teaches in Switzerland and has a real knack for sharing research findings and lesson ideas in a clear, fluent and engaging fashion. As I write this, he has recorded six episodes which can be listened to on various platforms. Here’s a link:
Liam’s website is here:
Each podcast is easily digestible, lasting around 25 minutes, just right for a journey to or from work. The thread running through the programmes, as the title suggests, is motivation, so his starting point is a self-determination theory of motivation based on the notions of competence, relatedness and autonomy. Liam favours a comprehension/communicative-based (“CI”) approach to teaching (in contrast to a very traditional grammar and vocabulary based, structural approach) and believes that approach is more likely to foster positive motivation and feelings of self-efficacy.
Each podcast begins with a bit of research background, then gets into lesson ideas. Liam is able to put across the research bits with great clarity. As a somewhat impatient listener to podcasts, I generally like how concise and to the point he is and how he’s able to get across the psychological or second language acquisition research in a listenable way. He also knows that what many teachers crave is ready-to-use lesson ideas.
You’ll hear plenty of the latter and, as usual, you’ll like some more than others, depending on your own tastes and teaching style, but I think every language teacher will learn something new. Episode 6, which I’ve just been listening to, talks about retrieval practice, with an easy summary of bits of the cognitive science behind building long-term memory followed by lesson ideas, for example a version of bingo.
We all know that motivation and classroom relationships are major contributors to learning, so Liam is mining a rich vein here. It’s possible to support the podcast financially through Patreon.